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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: How many people knew what the hand signal means?
None 7 16.67%
Less than half 19 45.24%
Mare than half 8 19.05%
All of them 8 19.05%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-14-04, 12:24 PM   #1
Mars
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Poll: Bicycle hand signals

Here is something to try. Ask a random number of your cager friends if they know what the classic "turn right" hand signal means. Then do my poll!

PS, if you don't know, the classic right turn hand signal is to hold your left arm out, bent upwards at the elbow, like a capital 'L'. Personally, I extend my right arm out, with index finger pointing, to show a right turn. I don't think that most drivers know the "proper" signal. But, let's do this poll and find out!
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Old 12-14-04, 12:30 PM   #2
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Just asked a bunchof people: even my wife didn't know what it meant. She thought it meant "stop".
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Old 12-14-04, 01:28 PM   #3
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where i live no one knows what any of the hand signals mean, and they have no idea how to act around bikes =/
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Old 12-14-04, 01:32 PM   #4
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This would be why I just point in the direction I'm turning. Hand signals don't seem to be taught properly anymore.
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Old 12-14-04, 01:41 PM   #5
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Wait - You expect cagers, who have a hard time extending a hand down to activate a turn signal indicator, to know what a hand signal means?

I'm pretty sure most of them understand one hand signal in particular. You can guess what signal that might be.

Sorry, I'm just feeling cynical today.
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Old 12-14-04, 01:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtjim
Wait - You expect cagers, who have a hard time extending a hand down to activate a turn signal indicator, to know what a hand signal means?

I'm pretty sure most of them understand one hand signal in particular. You can guess what signal that might be.

Sorry, I'm just feeling cynical today.
You wouldn't mean this one?
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Old 12-14-04, 01:50 PM   #7
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Haha, people here don't know what it means, either. What's more scary is that we have to know these to pass a driving test. o_o;
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Old 12-14-04, 02:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
This would be why I just point in the direction I'm turning. Hand signals don't seem to be taught properly anymore.
That's what I do. KISS.
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Old 12-14-04, 03:28 PM   #9
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I signal with the classic L shaped left arm out of habit.. nobody seems to have a clue what it means. maybe they think i'm waving or something. Pointing is the best way to go now days.
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Old 12-14-04, 04:43 PM   #10
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I just point with whatever hand corresponds with the direction I'm going...hand up to stop, wave thru for anyone behind at clear intersections, wave for acknowledgment of courteous drivers, middle finger applied to the jerks of the road
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Old 12-14-04, 04:51 PM   #11
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The left-hand arm up bent at the elbow signal was mainly invented for cars and carraiges because no one would see your right hand/arm if you were driving from the left seat and trying to signal a right turn otherwise. It makes much more sense to point using your right arm when on a bicycle. Unfortunately, as others have pointed out knowledge of any hand signals by many motorists is lacking in general.
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Old 12-14-04, 05:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ch0mb0
I just point with whatever hand corresponds with the direction I'm going...hand up to stop,
Maybe I'm confused, I thought the stopping hand signal was left arm down, not up.
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Old 12-14-04, 07:28 PM   #13
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Whenever I signal a right turn, drivers wave back to me.
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Old 12-14-04, 09:27 PM   #14
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I just point my hand, kind of wave with my wrist pointing in the direction of turn... Works on the streets of NYC...
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Old 12-14-04, 11:53 PM   #15
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I'm about to skew this poll, should I kill my 'cager' friends?
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Old 12-15-04, 08:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKNOWHO
Maybe I'm confused, I thought the stopping hand signal was left arm down, not up.
nah, I'm always confused. But A lot of people tend to see the signal as "stop"
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Old 12-15-04, 09:12 AM   #17
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I point right with my right arm for right turns. This isn't legally recognized in my state of NC, but nobody here understands the left arm version.

There are two situations where a right turn signal is really useful. One is when signaling a lateral movement to the right; in most situations the only road users I need to communicate with to my right are cyclists, especially those who might try to overtake me on the right, and the right hand is much more effective for them because my hand juts out into their path. The other situation is a courtesy to tell drivers at cross-streets and driveways that I am turning, so they don't wait for me and then get mad when I don't cross their path. In the latter case, if they misinterpret my signal, no harm done.

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Old 12-15-04, 01:03 PM   #18
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In the UK one points ones arm in the direction of the turn.

I think this dates from when car drivers did the same - i.e. before flashing indicators.
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Old 12-15-04, 02:27 PM   #19
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I can't say what people actually understand, but out here they are part of the driver's handbook (http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/pgs3...nalsdriversbic) and are presumably something that could be on the exam.

I thought everyone was taught these; I remember learning them even before I started driving. But I suspect nowadays many people don't get "stop" or "right" when made with the left hand. I use them anyway. Here it is allowable/legal for cyclists to signal a right turn by extending the right arm outwards (mirror of left turn signal).
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Old 12-15-04, 03:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California Driver Handbook - Laws and Rules of the Road

Do not shoot firearms on a highway or at traffic signs.

Dammit! What the hell happened to my America???
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Old 12-17-04, 07:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sggoodri
I point right with my right arm for right turns. This isn't legally recognized in my state of NC, but nobody here understands the left arm version. ...
An outstretched right arm IS recognized by the California Vehicle Code for right-turning bicyclists and motorcyclists. This signal is clear, unambiguous, and easy to execute.
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Old 12-17-04, 08:05 PM   #22
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It's also legal here in Washington.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCW 46.61.758
Hand signals.

All hand signals required of persons operating bicycles shall be given in the following manner:

(1) Left turn. Left hand and arm extended horizontally beyond the side of the bicycle;

(2) Right turn. Left hand and arm extended upward beyond the side of the bicycle, or right hand and arm extended horizontally to the right side of the bicycle;

(3) Stop or decrease speed. Left hand and arm extended downward beyond the side of the bicycle.

The hand signals required by this section shall be given before initiation of a turn.

[1982 c 55 8.]
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Old 12-18-04, 10:31 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukmtk
In the UK one points ones arm in the direction of the turn.

I think this dates from when car drivers did the same - i.e. before flashing indicators.
UH? how did a person in a car in the UK indicate a left turn with the hand, the hand is in the car ?

Or did they put the right hand out and up? The USA a right turn is left hand out and up because the other hand is in the car.
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Old 12-19-04, 12:13 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'nother
But I suspect nowadays many people don't get "stop" or "right" when made with the left hand. I use them anyway. Here it is allowable/legal for cyclists to signal a right turn by extending the right arm outwards (mirror of left turn signal).
Nowadays some people around here believe bikes belong on the sidewalk. I would like to be able to use the correct hand signal and be understood, that that's asking way too much of the general populace. I point in the direction of the turn. Sounds like the U.K. law makes more sense, anyway.
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Old 12-19-04, 04:51 AM   #25
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Can you buy anything for a bike to go on the back of it so you have turning lights ? How long is the battery life?
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